Remember that guy Bush? Well back in October he signed one of those fancy bailout bills and it had a bunch of tax incentives for you. Here are the highlights of The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 relevant to your tax return:
1. AMT Exemption
AMT exemption for individuals increased to $69,950 for married individuals filing a joint return; $46,200 for singles; $34,975 for married people filing separately.
2. Nonrefundable Personal Tax Credits
Allowed to the full limit of your regular tax and AMT liability, for tax years beginning in 2008.
3. Real Property Taxes
Homeowners can claim up to $500 as an additional standard deduction for tax years beginning 2008, 2009.
4. State and Local Sales Taxes Deduction Election
The ability to choose to deduct state and local general sales tax instead of state and local income taxes has been extended to apply to tax years prior to Jan 1, 2010.
5. Tuition Expenses Deduction
Deduction for this extended to December 31, 2009.
6. Eligible Educator Expenses Deduction
Teachers can do an above-the-line deduction of up to $250 for supplies, and this has been extended to apply to tax years starting 2008 and 2009.
7. Allowable Child Tax Credit
If the total of your child tax credit is greater than your total tax liability, you can get a refundable child credit worth up to 15% of your earned income over $8,500 up to the per child credit amount.
8. MACRS REcovery Period
15-year recovery period for qualified leasehold improvement property extended to property up and running in 2008 and 2009.
9. Electric Car Credit
For tax years starting after Dec. 31, 2008, there’s a new credit for plug-in electric cars: $2,500 plus $417 for every kilowatt hour over four hours of battery capacity.
10. Disaster-Related Personal Casualty Losses
Those related to Federally-declared disasters are deductible regardless of if it is over 10% of your adjusted gross income.